Does the secret sauce for success apply universally around the world? Or is it different depending on where you live?
For eight months in 2015-2016, my daughter globe trotted the world on a mission of service to the down and out. During that time, I had the opportunity to catch up with her in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
In so many ways, Thailand is vastly different than the States. In Chiang Mai, poverty is pervasive, not isolated to certain parts of town like it is here. It’s not ‘zoned’ into or out of certain districts. It was present in nearly every block you walked. If you walked six blocks, you saw a couple people who were doing pretty well, but it was mostly poverty. And all commingled.
But one thing was clearly evident.
Those who were doing well were employing two special success secrets.
The first was development of skills.
In Chiang Mai there are hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop businesses everywhere. But most appeared to be just eking out a subsistence living, selling trinkets, repairing motorbikes, doing laundry…
One day we went to the slums to play with the children. These were displaced people with no job or language skills, down on their luck, raising their children in squalid conditions, with no hope. Heart-breaking.
In contrast, those who were doing well by Thai standards were those who had skills.
Most spoke English so they could gladly accept American money. Converted to Thai bahts, of course.
They also had marketable job and business skills. They were the movers and shakers of Thailand.
We befriended one coffee shop and hostel owner who, in the past few years, had expanded her business, moved to a better location, and purchased a home to help those trapped by trafficking. She was quite an inspiration.
No matter where you live, if you don’t have the motivation to work hard, develop your skills, and succeed, it won’t happen.
It takes years to develop fluency in a language. Ditto for many business skills.
It takes gumption to put yourself out there in the blistering 105 degree sunbaked heat, and not just vegetate in whatever shade you can find. Whether to drive a tuk-tuk (the Thai version of a cab, as seen on right), run a guesthouse or coffee shop, or build any other kind of business.
[Side note: Most tuk-tuk drivers we encountered knew only enough English to negotiate the fare, and you needed to show them on a map where to drive you. But they were bold in asking if you needed a ride and were out in the blazing heat scrounging up business every day.]
While it’s true that “luck” plays a role, those who consciously seek to develop their skills and try to improve their situation are those who most often find it.
And that’s true whether you’re in America, Thailand, or Timbuktu.
What are you doing today to improve your skills and motivation? Do you need accountability, motivation, help with skill development? I may be able to help.
To your unlimited business growth,